U.S. considers proposals to reduce troop strength in West Africa

Harold Maass

Defense Secretary Mark Esper is considering proposals to significantly reduce the number of U.S. forces in West Africa, The New York Times reports, citing officials familiar with the matter.

The options on the table reportedly include a total pullout, as well as the abandoning of a new $110 million drone base in Niger. The deliberations are part of the first phase of a review of U.S. military deployments around the world. A decision on West Africa troop strength is expected in January, and a similar move in Latin America reportedly could come next.

The U.S. also is expected to follow through with drawdowns in Iraq and Afghanistan. President Trump took office in 2017 vowing to wrap up "endless wars." About 200,000 American service members are stationed abroad currently.

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